Photography logo - directions and input appreciated

zlatko.gudasic's picture

I'm working on a personal photography web site project, in my spare time, so it's unlikely it will be out anytime soon, but nevertheless I'd like it to have recognizable identity.

I’d like to put couple of personal collections, like seascapes (examples 1 and 2), subtle suburban shoots (example 3), there’s one nostalgic grunge collection I’m working on, etc. and there’s one ongoing project I’m working on with local photo club that includes on location people shoots like example 4 (it should be interesting locations and use of external strobes).

I’m attaching the logo I like best of those I’ve played with until now (so far i like light gray, blue, orange combo):

I've also played with logo from letters GZ, I'll post best what I came up until now (by my opinion) a little later, because I don't have it with me right now.

I’d like the logo, type and color used to say:
vision in photography (hence my idea for the stylized eye)
professional (as in high quality)
grunge (eyelashes and pupil on the eye are sort of grungy to communicate that)
positive (by the use of blue, green colors, maybe put pupil in orange for accent).

I'd like to attract young crowd.

I was looking for type that would not be to strict, but not too loose either, and that has sort of "artsy" feel to it (possibly countered by word "photography" in sans serif). You can see on the logo what I thought might be a good idea, but I'd really like more input from experienced people.

Any help and input appreciated!

riccard0's picture

What a broad amount of things to convey in a poor single little logo! ;-)
The overall composition isn’t bad (which it’s not easy given the many different elements. I suppose being a photographer helps :-)
Some random thoughts:
- I would revise the colour palette (they seems too many and don’t blend well together). Also, if you think of the logo in a portfolio website, too many colours could distract away from the photographs.
- I don’t like the slanted light grey “photography”. You could try an upright light (as in font weight) black version.
- Compared with the serene samples you provided, the eye in your logo appears almost menacing...

zlatko.gudasic's picture

lol, i have to agree with almost everything you've said and suggested (last part really made me laugh).

I have couple of versions of the eye, actually I have one that I like more than the one posted (but it's not incorporated in complete logo just yet), which is indeed much less intimidating and more soothing, which should make it in tune with most of the portfolio.

Would it be a good idea to reduce color palette to white, shade of gray and one color (I kinda prefer light green or blue)?

What would be the font you'd suggest for "photography", and more importantly, what about the font for name?

There's an interesting adjective you've mentioned, "serene", really has me thinking about different concepts.

Thanks for your feedback, appreciate it!

Special-K's picture

I thought of the Incredible Hulk's eye...

I would agree with riccard0, use 1 or 2 colors. A good idea is to make black, white and gray only versions, before colorizing. Look at it upside down too. It'll help you balance the shape and air around the logo. Hope that makes sense.

aluminum's picture

Why are you forcing your logo to say all of that? That's what your photography is for.

Looking at your sample work, which is great, I get a sense of serenity, simplicity, focus. The logo seems way to busy and contrasts too much with the style of your work, IMHO.


penn's picture

Why are you forcing your logo to say all of that? That’s what your photography is for.


Look at the identity for this photographer:

It doesn't have to be completely black and white, and use Helvetica, but something like that is much more subtle and clean, and gives people a much more secure feeling about who you are as a photographer.


zlatko.gudasic's picture

Rookie does rookie mistakes.

For starters I got rid of literal eye in logo and I've played with concept of circle that would represent it instead. I also got rid of color, till I find satisfactory gray scale result, which I may or may not colorize.

Well here's one of the versions I like so far (although I feel logo of letters doesn't balance well alone, without full name and "photography"):

Thanks all for help!

picard102's picture

Mark has some promise, the type choice though is awful imho.

cfig's picture

Agreed there. I think a very simple type treatment would be much more in line with the mark.

zlatko.gudasic's picture

I'd really appreciate more info on what you might think is suitable font? What should I look for..

Anyway, with mark unchanged for now, I came up with this:

evanbrog's picture

i'm wondering if a lower case g, with two especially round counterspaces, could be turned 90 degrees counterclockwise and give the impression of two eyes--which could refer to seeing and therefore photography. Or that could be lame-o... try it i say

Special-K's picture

I'd make the mark smaller too. It seems heavy on the left. Maybe:

I like how the Z's are on the same baseline. You still needs some work on it. I keep seeing it as a stylized mouse with the small hole as the eye and the bottom of the g as a tail though.

zlatko.gudasic's picture

@evanbrog I tried that, but what I get reminds me of eye glasses and seems more like oculist logo.

@Special-K -> amazing, there's even small triangle from g that looks like mouses legs. Talking about validity of critique, I didn't even see that. First thought is to differentiate letters by tonality.

I'll post when I have something to get more constructive criticism.


penn's picture

I see the side of a guy's face who has a huge nose.

What's the "." in the name for? It makes it look like one of those cheap website logotypes. The fact that the font is rounded and the mark is not also doesn't work for me. Try a font that's a bit less of a novelty/cartoony


nina's picture

OMG, a mouse! Now I can't not see it.
Before the mouse, it kind of looked like handcuffs to me.

I thought the "g" in the mark must come from Kabel. Have you tried Kabel for the name? Or maybe that's too obvious. But your current type looks a bit too soft / roundy / Web 2.0 / nondescript to my eyes. Especially next to that angular mark. But maybe that's just me…

zlatko.gudasic's picture

I'd like to point out that nothings too obvious :).

Actually, I didn't pick that last font by taste. It was listed in "21 most used fonts by pro designers". It's gotham rounded and I used rounded instead of normal because rounded had appropriate letter c. What started as, "let me pick a font that others use frequently", ended up like cheap web 2.0 look a like, all by accident, and not much consideration from my side.

Lastly, if you have some comments please drop them, they help me tremendously.

Ed_Aranda's picture

Why are you forcing your logo to say all of that? That’s what your photography is for.

Man, I gotta remember that line. Good stuff.

As for the logo, I think you’re heading in the right general direction, but perhaps down the wrong road. I like the simplicity, but not crazy about the type choice, super-tight letter spacing or mark.

Take a look at this photography logo I found on Google. I think its pretty awesome. The whole shutter/aperture thing might be overdone, but it’s geometric qualities make it well-suited for a logo, and this particular one I think was extremely well-executed.

Have you thought of a typeface as simple as Frutiger? Maybe something along these lines:

Looking at your photos, something simple and contemplative seems more your style. Just a thought.

Will Stanford's picture


zlatko.gudasic's picture

Tell me how you like this other concept I've been working on, that's simple stylized eye, and simple font:

manofscience's picture

Great work Zlatko, the new mark is much better. Stylised and very simply drawn, but communicates instantly, and could also be interpreted as a camera lens or lens flare.
The type is a bit heavy, get that right and I think you're done.

Henry Hadlow - Graphic Design / Art Direction

cfig's picture

Big improvement. Nice and clean and lets the work speak for itself. I agree, I could stand to see the a bit thinner weight typeface with the mark.

microspective's picture

Agreed with the last two comments. Nice to see the evolution of this logomark.

I wonder, though: the type will work so nicely; is the icon really necessary for this logomark's purpose?

apankrat's picture

What if you use uppercase G in this version ? The amalgamation of Z and G (and that extra small circle) make for a very unique symbol. Somewhat heavy, but that can be countered with color selection and the line widths.

zlatko.gudasic's picture

thanks all for comments. I'll need more opinion about type in a day or so (I'll showcase different versions). I also have another concept for your critique (or more precisely another version of the same concept).

@epsilicon -> the only difference between uppercase and lowercase in appropriate type is their weight. What you see in symbol was actually the uppercase g. I'm not sure I wanna use this symbol. Although I could somehow workaround mouse trap, g really reminds me of handcuffs like altaira said, and if I can't use that g, I don't see the point, because it was main attraction of that symbol in the first place.

zlatko.gudasic's picture

Tell me do you think these logo from letters concepts are worth additional exploration (last one is gz)?

Also, what would you pick for type for name for previous logo (I've removed "photography" not to interfere with my/yours judgment):

sandrosandro's picture

Love the first zg mark but without the grey parts. Reminds me of original Futura typeface:

Look at the letter g.

penn's picture

I like your new marks. The one youre working with here is creeping me out, because it looks like an eyeball. For the name, my favorites are number 13 followed by number 5. I would like 5 better if it were a bit smaller (since it's all caps) in relation to the mark.


picard102's picture

I like the first ZG mark as well. Drop the eye and go with it.

jsml's picture

i like #7 of the above and the one you posted on august 5th. i might suggest considering color on #7, though...???
i think you've done a lot of good work since your first two postings--the first couple seem completely different from the later ones.

nina's picture

Type: I like #8, but I generally adore Kabel Heavy. Might want to make it smaller. #1, #2, and #7 work nicely too. Or #9, but that's maybe a bit mannered. I'd prefer something with a round "o" to go with the circular mark.

I'm also somewhat intrigued by the third ("gz") mark – it doesn't read, but it looks interesting and fresh. A bit of "camera" in there, and "pedigree", maybe.

You may have reached the "ask 5 designers, get 6 opinions" stage. :-)

zlatko.gudasic's picture

thanks for words of encouragement. I've been only listening advices I got here, so drop them in, they help me allot.

Those new marks are crude versions of ideas I draw on paper, or have in my head, and I've found that my illustrator (I basically only now how to correctly use type and pen tool from photoshop) knowledge is way to restrictive to transform ideas to something useful. So, right now I'm watching tutorials on Illustrator and I'll be back in a week or so with hopefully more refined marks.

Special-K's picture

I'm still liking the one from August 5th the best. It looks strong, yet with it as all lowercase it has a pleasant friendly appeal. The lowercase g looks like a subliminal smile. It's not really noticeable or distracting, but I like it a lot. I like how the "holes" of the o, g & c resemble the circle of the lens/eye, so the type looks like it belongs to the mark. Nice! I like the thickness of the outer circle of the lens/eye, cause it matches the thickness of the letters. I'd maybe play the lens/eye some more and see if you can make more resemble a camera lens. Myself, I don't mind it al all.

In the other versions, the type doesn't especially balance with the thickness of the mark, except maybe #8 & #10. On #5 as all uppercase, the name seems to long to me for all uppercase. I think it would be painful reading on a large scale sign for your studio. Like emails "shouting" being all uppercase.

Some of the letters stand out badly to me in certain versions: The s in 3 & 4, the i in 3 & 9, the accents in 13 & 14, the t in 14, the g in 3 & 4 will look like an 8 at small sizes

The first zg logo is interesting, and is worth some exploring - it might not be recognizable unless you repeat or resemble those characters in the name. The gray makes it look like a hour glass to me.

The second looks like 29. The 3rd, well... not seeing anything.

zlatko.gudasic's picture

I now have couple of concepts I'm refining. I think I'll have them ready by the end of week.

In the mean time I want your opinion about this logo:

It's Polaroid inspired, and I feel it looks very professional.

sandrosandro's picture

This is a bit too complicated, think how it will look at small sizes. And also think when will you use it so big.

paulstonier's picture

I would argue that it's not too complicated depending on how he uses it.

ZlatkoGudasic can sit on its own in some cases. While depending on what he is doing "PHOTOGRAPHY" can change and just keep in at widely tracked Futura light as part of the branding.

I would give a little more space between the "icon" and the nameplate.

Special-K's picture

I like it too, but as said above, It will probably be cumbersome for studio signage. I didn't recognize it as polaroid at first, but as a Pantone chip. That may be just because the printing industry is my vocation.

Isn't Polaroid instamatic photography obsolete now? Is that a connection you want?

sandrosandro's picture

In the end, as i see it, it comes to two frames - white one(that will be questionable for applying on white) then the grey one.
Symbol inside that is trapped inside that grey frame, that can survive pretty on its own without one or two frames with decent wordmark.

Name set in Futura displaying the name is too tight spaced, and photography beneath too wide, thus creating not so pleasing contrast. Photography looks to light and zlatkogudasic to thick. So that tells that there is a problem with typesetting in the beggining, selection, coloring, composition, and proportions and spacing itself generating too much contrast and negative dynamics (note too tight set nameplate, and too light and wide spaced photography).

aluminum's picture

I'm looking at your sample photos again and I'm going to repeat what I said earlier. Your photography is great, and, from what I can tell, tends to have a serene and somewhat minimalistic vibe. I really think that should be carried into the logo. I'd spend some time doing some very simple text lock ups and see if something comes out of that.

zlatko.gudasic's picture

An update on progress. Since I have a web site and portfolio to finish first, I've decided that if I don't find something that would satisfy me, I'll give it a rest for a couple of weeks.

You'll be amused to know I've managed to get some unbelievable shapes combining z and g letters, including cow's portrait:

Of all the concepts I came up with, I found only two worth considering. The first one you already saw. I've contacted author of type and he approved me using it in logo, which is a big plus. It's inspired by polaroid, but that doesn't mean it associates on it. I also have to say I don't agree with type weight critique, since I've experimented with all possible combinations, and this one seemed to do the trick (and it was deliberate juxtaposition). I've also tried printing it, and it's legible, and for web 100 and 200 px version seems fine too (without words).

There's also this other concepts, and tell me what you think about it:

microspective's picture

I think the bottom one (Trajan) would work excellently if the icon was "kerned" to complement the tracking of the type.

Your persistence impresses me.

zlatko.gudasic's picture

I'd like your opinion on this logo. I'm attaching color, bw and small version.


Lefty's picture

i agree with microspective, i think the bottom row of your previous post is very promising and original and have much more personality than the other one.
The rounded box version make me think of a iPhone apps icon IMHO.
But i am also very impress by your persistantce, keep digging!! :)

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